6. "Cooper's Dreams"

"The difference between a dream and a goal is a timeline."

- Dr. Phil

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by Edward Lacie

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Episode Six

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"My log saw something significant," the Log Lady (Catherine Caulson) says.

It's 4:50 a.m. I should sleep but feel like the equation I just detailed is too profound to allow me any sleep.

"I've got an appointment later today with a new psychiatrist to talk about my meds. I don't think I'll talk about the murder or kidnapping," I wrote in the first draft of this narrative. As I retype and revise this, those appointments have expired with no further appointments set up. They must think I'm fine. I never did mention in group that I've committed murder or have a kidnap victim at home. They wouldn't have understood.

"What did you see that night Laura Palmer was killed?" Cooper asks the log.

I feel an urge to write a poem, but that's as far as I can take it: the wish but not the whatever to back it up. A poem about what the log saw!

I'm unsure if the accelerated feeling I describe as a breakdown in the direction of up was poetry. But I know it wasn't reality, Toto.

It has been my goal to study Rimbaud without reading his poetry and then write A Season in Hell, his only published book, as though it were my own, ala Jorge Luis Borges's character who rewrites Don Quixote (see quotation used to accompany the page of footnotes). Too late; I've read it in bad translations.

While Rimbaud was in Africa, an edition of the poems he'd given Verlaine ("poems in prose" he described them) was released, Illuminations. Verlaine's introduction stated that Rimbaud was dead. He was living in Harar at the time. In Paris, a sort of cult following for Rimbaud developed. Its adherents exhibit a bohemian, lawless philosophy.

Subjects not included in the Gnome notebook (thus I should no longer mention them in this re-enactment): Bulletin Board, Prozac, The James White Review (three things which didn't exist then), Rimbaud, killing and kidnapping, unemployment and my very real poverty.

I don't recall the contents of the Gnome notebook because, as I wrote it, FBMs started to happen too fast to keep track of. It was a season in hell and exhilarating. A local war between good and evil incarnate in the people in my everyday life was written between the lines.

To this day I have a wariness about the book and keep it stored away. When I revise this, I'll dig it out of storage. A good place for quoting it would be nearer the "end" of my "Twin Peaks" narrative. (Remember? "It just stops.")

In 1979, I was working at a restaurant, the Comfy Kitchen, and trying to decide if I should continue writing poetry. 

The Gnome notebook may have started with my theory about dreams. I was trying to invent a Poetry of Fatalism, a philosophy in which everything has already happened, we have no free choice. My theory is/was that the reason we dream each night is to check our script for the next day's lines. 

We dream the entire history of the cosmos from start to finish each night, paying particular attention to our pages for the next day. 

Simultaneously, I was writing a good-bye-to-Spokane poem ("Twin Peaks" theme song plays on tv on "Imus In the Morning" - this is final rewrite and "Twin Peaks" hits the narrative a final time like an FBM) that was very much in "the moment" when Son of Sam invaded my poem and, like an arm in an old-fashioned wringer washing machine, got sucked into the poem, chopped off and integrated. It was ugly.

I don't remember the details used to illustrate this theory because they suddenly were seen in the inner workings of relationships I'd seen only the surface of for years. A prophet might as well give it up in his home town, according to Christ. And, believe me, I was reading Christ, thinking that Satan in the form of Son of Sam was out to get me.

This was before and leading up to Halloween. Halloween seemed the worst until a day or two later. Iran seized hostages. I knew someone who was in Iran. My explosion exploded from national to global. I'd meant to keep it personal when it exploded into the local and suddenly this!

That brief fit was a pure feeling of being in the moment, usually terrifying. I'd love to experience it again. But this time I am not willing to give up the security of something solid to stay attached to, hence "Twin Peaks".

Even today I marvel that I stayed "modern" for so long (Rimbaud's statement "I must be completely modern" I take to mean "caught up in the moment" like I was for exhausting months without breaks). (Also Steinmetz, "experience on the move" pg. 70, is a synonym or bad translation of Rimbaud's goal.)

It's hard to write as Cooper's dream plays out before my eyes. This episode contains some wonderfully Surreal/Symbolist imagery. It's right up my Rimbaud Alley this morning. 

Besides the theme song, the music from the dream is the most noteworthy on the Badalamenti collection of "Twin Peaks" music. I found the tape earlier tonight (as I rewrite/type this) and listened awhile.

I'll explain and expound on my poverty in an upcoming episode. It's a reason for the kidnapping. It was the reason for the killing too but, as killings often go in the movies (and on tv), it didn't work out the way it was supposed to. For a year or two I eat only one or two meals a day and this has to stop. My captive is now rationed to one a day only.

When the JWR began, Baysans was working fulltime as a typesetter at a small company which also underwrote the costs of the first few issues. Baysans would, for years, contribute his time in preparing the publication, beyond hours the editors spent as a group deciding what would be included in each subsequent issue.

Willkie lived on a trust fund and had no occupation other than spokesman and public face for The JWR. After turning the management of the review over to the Lambda Rising organization in the mid-1990s, Willkie ran for public office in Minnesota on the Green (pro-marijuana) Party ticket. Barely considered a serious candidate, he relocated to San Francisco some time after the election.

Paul Emond had been working for years on his novel, Sinna, The Poet which was excerpted in Volume One, Number One of the JWR. He was nominally employed as a handyman. Baysans has since described him as "a little boy in an old man's body. I don't mean that at all badly. Paul was sweet and very talented. I always wanted to put more of his novel in the review, but the politics didn't allow it."

The Symbolists occur chronologically after Rimbaud (whom they claimed as their first practitioner) and before the Surrealists (who claimed Rimbaud as their first practitioner).

The rejection letter I got from The James White Review after submitting a long paper on the poetry of Verlaine was a generic "Thanks for considering us." The first time was not really a surprise. 

Three months later I submitted a paper on Rimbaud in translation (Baysans was cited in a footnote). It was returned with the same rejection letter. 

In late 2001, I submitted a paper on Baysans and received a newly worded but otherwise generic rejection letter. Because he had been a founder of the publication, I thought the JWR would be more interested in publishing studies of his work than would other journals.

End of episode six.

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